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PRECIOUS-Gold on track for biggest weekly decline in seven weeks

    April 28 Gold was little changed on Friday but
poised for the biggest weekly fall in seven weeks as investors
sought out riskier assets, dampening demand for gold, which pays
no interest.

    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        was steady at $1,263.81 per ounce, as of
0100 GMT. 
    * Gold is on track for the largest weekly percentage fall
since the week of March 10, down about 1.6 percent, but is
heading towards a gain of about 1.2 percent for the month.
    * U.S. gold futures         eased 0.1 percent to $1,264.90
an ounce.
    * The dollar edged up in Asian trading on Friday. The dollar
index        rose 0.2 percent to 99.231.       
    * Asian stocks inched higher on Friday and looked set to
close a strong week on a positive note, while the euro slipped
after the European Central Bank showed no signs of paring its
stimulus programme.            
    * The European Central Bank stuck to its ultra-easy policy
stance on Thursday as inflation continues to undershoot its
target but explicitly acknowledged the vigour of the euro zone
economy, now on its best run since the global financial crisis.
            
    * Euro zone economic sentiment climbed to a near 10-year
high in April against expectations of almost no change as
confidence in all sectors improved and inflation expectations
dampened, EU data showed on Thursday.             
    * New orders for U.S.-made capital goods rose less than
expected in March, but a second straight monthly increase in
shipments suggested business investment accelerated in the first
quarter amid a recovering energy sector.             
    * Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.10 percent to 853.36
tonnes on Thursday.             
    * Switzerland's gold exports bounced back in March from the
previous month's slump as shipments to leading bullion consumers
Hong Kong, China and India rose, Swiss customs data showed on
Thursday.             
    * China's Q1 gold output fell 9.29 percent y/y to 101.2
tonnes and Q1 gold consumption was up 14.73 percent y/y to
304.14 tonnes, the official Xinhua news agency said on Thursday,
quoting data from the China Gold Association.             
    * South Africa's AngloGold Ashanti          has halted all
exploration work at its La Colosa project in central Tolima,
Colombia, after voters backed a proposal to ban mining in the
municipality, the company said on Thursday.             
    * London's silver price benchmark is facing big,
unpredictable fluctuations that risk undermining its credibility
and may complicate efforts by the London Bullion Market
Association to find a new operator, according to a Reuters
analysis of trading data and 10 industry sources.             
    
    DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT) 
    
    0600  Germany         Import prices             March 
    0600  Germany         Retail sales              March
    0600  Britain         House prices              April
    0645  France          Consumer spending         March
    0830  Britain         Preliminary GDP           Q1
    0900  Euro zone       Inflation flash           April
    1230  U.S.            GDP advance               Q1
    1230  U.S.            Employment costs          Q1
    1345  U.S.            Chicago PMI               April 

 (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Edmund
Klamann)
  
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